The Stratford Festival opens on Tuesday.  The date, July 13th, is the 68th anniversary of the first performance held under a tent in 1953.

This year will be no different because of COVID-19 restrictions this year’s performances will also be held under tents. “July 13th has been an auspicious date for our Festival and now that we are back in tents again we hope that day will herald a wonderful reawakening of live theatre,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino.

The Festival will open with the year’s first show, Why We Tell The Story: A Celebration of Black Musical Theatre.

The season was cancelled last year because of the pandemic but Executive Director Anita Gaffney says getting ready to reopen has been an adventure, “While we introduced the canopies in response to the public health crisis, the outdoor setting alludes beautifully to our first season and provides a magical setting in which to experience theatre. Preparing for the 2021 season has been an adventure, forging new paths, reshaping old ones, and responding to the ever-changing conditions. After 15 months of planning and re-planning, I can hardly wait to welcome audiences back.”

This year’s theme is Metamorphosis and features six plays and five cabarets.  Four other productions will begin in July: You Can’t Stop the Beat: The Enduring Power of Musical Theatre (July 15 to July 31); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (July 16 to August 1); Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters (July 23 to August 21); and Play On!: A Shakespeare-Inspired Mixtape (July 29 to August 15).

Tickets are now on sale for members and for those who held on to their 2020 tickets or donated the value back to the theatre.  Tickets for the general public will be on sale on Monday, July 12th.

This year’s season will run through October.